Document Detail

Good enough to eat.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  17680351     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
In mythology, religion, and literature, there are many examples of cannibalism that have been passed down over the centuries and which do not strike us as shocking as long as they remain fixed in a symbolic context. Things only become problematic when cannibalistic impulses are taken literally and put into practice. Apart from situations of extreme emergency in which this rare phenomenon might enjoy a certain sympathy, it also occurs within the context of serious sexual offences. Recently, in Germany, there was the case of a man who used the internet to find a person who wanted to have himself eaten. The victim's consent unsettled not only the public at large, but also the judiciary, which at first did not know how the case was legally to be appropriately assessed. In a first trial in January 2004, the man was sentenced to a comparatively short prison term of only a few years, a sentence that was lifted by the Federal Supreme Court. In a fresh trial in May 2006, he was sentenced to life imprisonment for murder. In this essay, I discuss to what extent mythological, religious, and artistic models of cannibalism express something fundamentally anthropological and how concrete examples should be assessed against this background.
Friedemann Pfäfflin
Publication Detail:
Type:  Case Reports; Journal Article; Review     Date:  2007-08-07
Journal Detail:
Title:  Archives of sexual behavior     Volume:  37     ISSN:  0004-0002     ISO Abbreviation:  Arch Sex Behav     Publication Date:  2008 Apr 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2008-03-20     Completed Date:  2008-07-22     Revised Date:  2009-04-09    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  1273516     Medline TA:  Arch Sex Behav     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  286-93     Citation Subset:  IM    
Forensic Psychotherapy, Ulm University, Am Hochsträss 8, 89081 Ulm, Germany.
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MeSH Terms
Cannibalism / ethnology,  psychology*
Criminal Law
Homicide / legislation & jurisprudence*,  psychology
Interpersonal Relations
Sexual Behavior / psychology*
Comment In:
Arch Sex Behav. 2009 Apr;38(2):164-5; author reply 166-7   [PMID:  19152108 ]
Erratum In:
Arch Sex Behav. 2008 Apr;37(2):360

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